The movie was filmed in Salt Lake City beginning in July 2006 at three local high schools. Sean Faris ran six miles twice a day to get in shape for the film. During filming, Faris sprained his ankle, but had the ankle taped, and continued filming. Several All-American rugby players, predominantly from the University of Utah and Brigham Young University, played in the film. Some Highland Rugby alumni and current players also played roles in the film.
The name of the film is based on a phrase that Gelwix often shares with his team members, "kia kaha" which in the Maori language means Stay strong. The longer version: "Be forever strong on the field, so that you will be forever strong off the field." The players call them "Gelwixism".
Forever Strong is based on an amalgam of true stories about the Highland Rugby high school team.The character Rick Penning is based on a real member of the rugby team who played in Flagstaff, Arizona and was sent to a group home in Salt Lake City. The story attracted the production company Go Films."Forever Strong" was the first sports themed film Go Films had made. Producer Adam Abel and Director Ryan Little were attracted to the story because of Highland Rugby's tradition of winning both on and off the field. The film name "Forever Strong" is taken from the team motto of the Highland High School rugby team."Forever Strong" was released in fall 2008 and distributed by Crane Movie Co.
Forever Strong is a sports film directed byRyan Little and written by David Pliler and released on September 26, 2008. The film stars Sean Faris, Gary Cole, Neal McDonough, Penn Badgley and Arielle Kebbel. The film is about a troubled rugby unionplayer who must play against the team his father coaches at the national championships. Forever Strong is based on a compilation of individual true stories.Rick Penning (Sean Faris) is a high schoolrugby player who is the captain of his team in which all of the players only improve via drugs and alcohol....